Sander & DaniëlleOur Toronto life...

Our Toronto life...

Ice, Mirror, Coat Tree, Movie-collection & more…

Last week we finally got two of the items we ordered for our entrance! We ordered them before christmas by Pier1 and Crate & Barel. Leigh the coat tree was easy to set up and was mounted in 5 minutes, the unpacking took longer. But the mirror was a bit more difficult since it’s a really heavy mirror. But I also mentioned to hook it up to our dry wall, I’m surprised how much these walls can hold.

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I also got a very nice present form Danielle, our 8th Monopoly set. This time it’s a special 80th anniversary edition which she found at the Toys “R” Us across the street.
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After enhancing our home on Friday night we decided to do something active to start the weekend. We started with a visit to another Dutch Store/lunchroom on Holland Street East in Bradford. It’s called Dutch Treats and here we had some Frikandellen and Kroketten.

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Early afternoon we continued our way to Barrie. Barrie is located on the Kempfenbelt Bay from Lake Simcoe. We wandered through Heritage Park, got some Hot Chocolate before we decided to take a closer look at the ice-fishing which took place in the bay. It was extremely cold due to the wind and the ice but it was well worth it. We stood on the lake for about an hour before we decided to go back to our car and drive home.

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Sunday we relaxed a bit and Danielle baked some delicious cupcakes. I’ve to say the Red Velvet’s are getting better and better each time she bakes them and I’m officially addicted. The other ones are the Pim’s editions which is a chocolate-orange cupcake with orange frosting, also delicious.

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We also started working our again, but due to the cold weather this is not possible outside. Lucky for us our condominium has a fitness center included. We both started last week for the first time. In the evenings it’s quite busy but so far I’ve been lucky 3 times and found a free treadmill. The first time was quite difficult it was warm there was no air to cool and I was sweating extremely. But after a couple of times you seem to get used to it. Let’s hope my knee holds out a long time this year.

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During the week we visited Absolute Comedy together, every Wednesday it’s the so-called Am/Pro night which means that there 5 Amateurs, 1 Professional MC and a Professional. This time 2 of the Amateurs’ performances were funnier as the professional. Overall it was a bit less than the other couple times we went but we still ad a great evening.

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And finally Amazon.ca got the stock problems sorted out and we were able to finish our big project related to our movie collections. We collected about 860 different DVD and Blu-Ray boxes (over 1000 discs) over the last 10 years and we always had these sorted in some kind of library. Unfortunately this is very space consuming and in our Condo there is just not enough wall space. So we have decided to change the storage concept from this (12 Ikea Benny’s:

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Into 5 Media Binders:

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It was a lot of work but it saved so much space, we’ve still enough place in the binders since every binder holds up to 272 discs and we’ve a 6th binder as spare. And now I feel like getting a coffee…

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Condo improvements…

And it didn’t look as good as we hoped. The place looked really empty after our beautiful Christmas tree was gone…

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Needless to say we went shopping in furniture stores on this clouded Saturday morning to look for possible solutions for this gap in our living room. We had some ideas but we wanted to see them for real instead of online pictures. We are in general in-store shoppers instead of online shoppers except for electronics and media. After we checked out the first the Restoration Hardware Outlet Store in the Toronto Premium Outlets in Halton Hills, we saw some nice things but nothing for that empty spot so we left soon while it started to snow a little bit.

On the way towards the outlets we had checked out Pier1 and Urban Barn before it started to snow for real. We decided to have a warm lunch instead of a dinner and went to Montana’s Cookhouse. It’s a nice restaurant with a lot of theming inside and a nice and cozy fireplace. Danielle had a dish with chicken, mushroom sauce and rice but I tried something new… It’s called the Chicken Waffle Club Sandwich it’s described in the following way: “Between two flame-grilled Belgian sugar waffles, we sandwich our southern fried chicken breast with maple sriracha, lettuce, tomato, mayo and 2 strips of double-smoked bacon, and serve it with your choice of fries. Why waffles? Because bread needs a lunch break too. I can tell you the first half was delicious, but the second half was just too much. I didn’t finish my plate and wasn’t hungry for the rest of the day…
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Danielle drove back home to practice her snow-driving skills by driving through this snowstorm and it went well, although there was some slow-traffic we were back home in 30 minutes (3 minutes delay).

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On sunday the weather was beautiful and we still hadn’t found the perfect solution for our living room so we decided towards Lawrence and Avenue to visit the Royal Lighting store, on the way their we walked into my boss which is quite funny in a city of over 2.6 million people about 4km from your place. After we came back Danielle did her magic in the kitchen as more nights during the first workweek of 2015.

During the week the temperature dropped towards -19 degrees Celsius and I can tell you that ain’t fun, especially not when it feels like -27 due to the windchill. And off course I needed to get gas on the coldest evening of the week. Lucky for me the gas price gave me a warm feeling and I had fun paying with only 0.919$/liter (0.66 EUR). Later that week prices dropped another 2 cents.

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Friday evening we went to dinner at the Against the Grain Tavern about 4 km from our place, we both had a delicious burger and I even had a German Style Weizen. The first one since we left Germany and from a new brewery and it tasted great.

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During the week we came to the conclusion that a planter would be the perfect solution for the empty space and I found something nice near Mississauga, the Lechuza Store. It is a German brand with a very unique solution which means you only need to water your plants once every 12 weeks, I believe that’s perfect for us since we never had a plant in our house before.

Saturday morning early we first picked up the still missing nightstand lamp from Crate & Barrel, we checked out the Tommy Hilfiger store since they are starting to get the nicer European Collection in the store for this season (previously they only had the Outlet & Macy’s collection). And after a coffee stop at the Starbucks we drove to the Lechuza store.

After looking around at this combined Playmobil and Lechuza Store. Yes they sell both and maybe a fun fact is, all the Lechuza products are produced in Zirndorf, a town in Franconia about 30 minutes away from our former home. We found the perfect planter, the Rondo 40 and it was on sale. But the planter only wasn’t everything we needed a plant 2 which we found at the Home Depot in Brampton.

Close to that Home Depot we found a Applebee’s, which we didn’t knew that it existed in Canada. You can guess our lunch was covered. Afterwards we drove back home. Here we installed the new stuff, I tested out or I had green fingers. Doesn’t it look professional in the kitchen?

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And then we started on the next project, a new storage solution for our more than 900 DVDs. Due to multiple messed up deliveries from Amazon we couldn’t start this project earlier (our first time ordering was in November) and now after the 5th shipment we finally got a part of the correct items.

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Still waiting for one other and then I’m ordering the rest to finish this project, hopefully it’s finished next weekend because that would mean that everything is unpacked.  But now it’s time for a movie…and it’s hard to pick one if you just had 900 going through your hands…

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Somethings new…

Maybe some of you have already noticed small changes to our website, it’s something I’ve been thinking of a long time and this christmas I finally was able to find the time. I’ve moved our website to a new domain: www.rotmensen.com so if you have a link to our blog in your favourites or on your blog please change this to the new address. But for now the former address is forwarding automagically so you don’t have to worry and do anything to reach us.

On the 29th of December we finally got our Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) at the Service Ontario at Bay Street, we lined up 15 minutes before opening (7:45) and left the our OHIP-Number at 8:25. That was faster as we expected and we directly got our addresses on our driver’s license changed. Having OHIP makes it easier for us to go to the doctor and was also the final step in the immigration process. Now we can start getting sick and visit doctors, I guess it’s obvious that we don’t plan to but it feels good to have OHIP. For lunch we went to the Pickle Barrel, a restaurant with a view on our building.

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Also some sad news on our blog this time we needed to say goodbye to our German “neighbours” because they went back home after being here for 2 years. The last 3 months we had a great time together while we were discovering Toronto and mainly Yonge and Eglinton they were saying their goodbyes. After the movers left their condo and it was empty we took over the official responsibility for Suzy, luckily this was an easy transition for her since she already got used to be with us over the last 3 months. Afterwards we brought Martin and Sabrina to the International Airport for their flight back home. And yes all the suitcases fitted into our car and there was space for more, I love our Chevy Equinox! Thanks for showing us around here Martin and Sabrina.

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On the way back from the airport we decided to visit the blue box again since I found a nice cabinet for our living room/kitchen. The Bestä system and we went for a version with 4 glass doors and 8 drawers.

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The morning after I woke up early and started building the cabinet, it took slightly longer as I expected and my hands hunted from the screw driver, I guess I should have invested in tools instead of nice gadgets. But after 4,5 hours (including a coffee break) the cabinet was finished and Danielle could start filling it. The existing cabinet was moved to one of our walk-in closets to add some shelves.

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In the Evening Danielle and I decided to go to the movie-theatre to watch “The Imitation Game” for which we used the christmas gifts we got from our former neighbours (movie tickets). The movie was even better as we expected and it’s unbelievable that it is based on a true story. Some of the things happening in that move are hard to believe…

The last day of 2014 we spent shopping (can you believe that?). I mean we need new stuff to fill the new cabinet with, to be honest we wanted to get some under the bed storage boxes and we planned to get a milkshake at Johnny Rockets. But we were really unlucky since the Johnny Rockets at the Vaughan Mills was closed and looking at the site it seems to be closed for ever. We decided to get ourselves a Ben & Jerry’s scoop (Sander) and a Ben & Jerry’s milkshake (Danielle) instead. Later I added a Red Velvet scoop to this at the Baskin Robbins.

The evening we chilled at home by watching a Dutch Comedy show called “Oudejaarsconference” (Old years conference) which summarises the past year in a funny way while enjoying Dutch Oliebollen (Oilbolls).

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And at at 10:45 pm we left towards downtown. During New Years Eve the Toronto subway is free to use for everyone to reduce risks of drunk driving and most certainly to boost the alcohol consumption since it’s sponsored by Corby Spirit and Wine. We got out of the Subway at Queens and walked with a lot of other people towards Nathan Phillips Square and the Toronto City Hall. Here the city of Toronto hosted the New Year’s Eve celebration with live entertainment and the city’s official fireworks display. Below a part of the firework as Animated GIF (I did some training with GIMP again).

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After the fireworks was over everyone left the square since it was really cold -4 degrees Celcius but due to the cold wind it felt like -10. We left the square through the parking garage below and then walked to College Street to catch the first subway home and I believe that was the fastest possible way and before 2 o’clock we were back home.

The first day of 2015 we decided to relax and go see a movie at the Cineplex Don Mills VIP Theatre. These VIP theatres have more luxurious seating, a nice lounge to have food in, serve alcohol and serve you in your seat so you can have dinner during the movie. It’s a bit more expensive but the seats are amazing as is the leg room. We really enjoyed watching “unbroken” which is a must-see movie. We’ll definitely need to come back to this theatre (only 6 km away from our place) since the waiters told us that 2 of the theatres are equipped with even better full reclining seats. After we came back I sprayed our car cleaner with at the washing area in our parking garage (one of the amenities).

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And then we live today on which we did nothing except enjoying our view with a beautiful blue sky with some clouds floating over and going to the Solutions store to get an Ornament storage box for our christmas ornaments since we’ll put the christmas tree back in its box today. I’m curious how our living room will look like without the tree since it has been there for more than 2 months out of the 3 months we lived here.

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To every reader: HAPPY NEW YEAR!! We appreciate all the reactions on our blog as comment, e-mail, like, etc. last year. It does encourage us to keep writing about our adventures and we’ll try to keep up blogging in 2015!

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Christmas and Boxing Day…

We started christmas with preparing the last things for the Christmas breakfast which we had planed for Christmas Eve at our Condo. Danielle worked on the Lemon Pie and the Apple Cinnamon Muffins while I was setting the table for dinner. It’s an extendable one which we fully utilised.
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After all preparations were done we put on our ugly holiday sweaters and I’ve to say I really liked those cozy sweaters despite they were beyond ugly.
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Besides the breakfast we also had some gifts under our tree for the four of us ranging from sugar to Noise-cancelling Bose headsets and Socks, sweaters and T-shirts. The food was delicious and most of it was gone before we went to a Christmas Eve Mass in the Eglinton St. Georges United Church. Yes we went to a church for the first time in years and we had some expectations since the building looks great from the outside (I borrowed the following picture from here).

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At 9 o’clock the mass should have started but shortly after we a drunk woman started calling us out for all kind of things because her Christmas was ruined 3 years ago and then she didn’t want to leave and started drinking from the wine and playing with the bread.

After about 45 minutes the priest decided to continue the service downstairs in the gym but 5 minutes after we started the drunk woman had finally left the church after an Emergency Medical Support unit took care of her. 

And so we all went upstairs again to continue the service without going to the communion since the wine was gone and the Hostia (bread) wasn’t usable anymore since the drunk woman touched it. But the part that took place was good, especially singing Silent Night together while everyone hold a lighted candle…

When the mass was over we walked back through the pouring rain to continue eating, drinking champagne, beer and wishkey. And in the meantime we were watching the Movie A Christmas Story while playing Monopoly “A Christmas Story-edition”. That was one of the gifts we unpacked.

In the beginning it did”t look too good for me but in the end I won the game with have the green and the blue streets with houses on them in my hand. We finished the game at 2 o’clock. And after we took this last picture together with Suzy it was time to call it a night.

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The day after we had a lazy start and walked around, found a GeoCache, had FaceTime calls with most of our family and in the evening it was time for dinner at Martin & Sabrina’s place. Martin decided to buy a piece of Salmon for dinner and he selected a 1.600 Gram piece. Sabrina did her magic with the “Techno-Thermomix” (A French kitchen machine) and we had a delicious dinner starting with a Squash soup, some vegetables, salad and a delicious potato gratin. That all combined with some Belgian White’s from the Mill Street Brewery made it a perfect Christmas dinner.

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After dinner we went to bad a bit earlier as usual during a vacation since it was Boxing Day the next day. At Boxing Day the biggest sale of the year starts in Canada. And off course as the shopaholics we are, we needed to be there. Together with Martin and Sabrina we left our parking garage at 7:00am sharp and drove to the Yorkdale mall. And it was crowded already…but we ended up with some good deals like a 7-for-all-mankind jeans 40% off, a nice shirt for Danielle at Tommy Hilfiger from the new collection (40% off) and 2 nightstand lamps from Crate & Barrel.

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The weekend after we walked a lot through and around Yonge & Eglinton since the weather was really nice. And we decided to try out a new restaurant the Mandarin Buffet Restaurant across the street. And one thin I can tell you every buffet restaurant you’ve seen in Europe cannot be compared with this one there was so much food to pick from and it was always available…

Needless too say we left there with stomach-ache and rolled back to the authorised of the street were we got back on the couch to watch a movie.

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